If you are a beginning carpenter or a seasoned carpenter, you are probably looking to buy the best miter saw as they are one of the most versatile tools on the market. With a good miter saw will be able to smoothly execute a ninety degree angled cut or crosscut.
You may have heard it referred to as a "chop saw" or "drop saw". It looks just like a circular saw but is mounted onto a board or metal base for quick action, and are the perfect choice for a wide range of jobs from cutting window trim to ripping two by fours.
These saws are available in a few variations including the basic miter box and saw, dual compound miter saw, compound miter, Laser sliding dual compound miter saw and sliding compound miter.
Most of these saws are made from aluminum or steel, however, the handle and blade guard can be made from a special type of heavy duty plastic. More commonly you’ll find plastic incorporated in lower priced models. But regardless of the types of materials used, all miters are designed to withstand heavy use. Below is our a chart to help you pick the best miter saw for your job.
|Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide Miter Saw||
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|Dewalt DWS715 Compound Miter Saw||
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|Hitachi C12RSH2 Sliding Compound Miter Saw||
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Miter Saw Comparison Table
|Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide Miter Saw||120v||Sliding||12 inches||$$$$$|
|Dewalt 715 Compound Miter Saw||120v||Compound||12 inches||$$$|
|Hitachi C12RSH2 Sliding Compound Miter Saw||120v||Sliding Compound||12 inches||$$$$|
Bosch Dual Bevel Glide Miter Saw Review
The Bosch dual bevel, sliding miter saw features an interesting take on the traditional sliding miter saw design. It has a reputation for versatility, and the ability to save you about twelve inches of workspace, thanks to its innovative design. It comes as no surprise that this model is our top-rated product, despite the higher price tag. The saw’s space saving design also allows you to execute cuts with minimal rear clearance, which is a huge selling point for anyone who works in a cramped garage or workshop.
This is a corded electric 15 AMP, 120-volt miter saw and is powerful enough for all your cutting needs. With the 12” blade and axial glide system allows wider cross cuts and smoothness of cuts. Bevel cuts are cut at 33.9 degree left and 45 degree right along with accurate crosscuts at 90 degrees. All the levers for range selections are on the front of the saw for easy and safe settings. The clear see through blade covers gives you the ability to watch your work safely.
If you need a miter saw that will cut crown moldings, this saw will accommodate 6 ½ “vertical crown molding and 6 ½ “horizontal crown molding cuts and is perfect for you on the job site.
- 12” cutting blade
- Able to cut dual bevels
- Great axial glide system
- Dust collection system
- Heavy and stable for working safely
- Corded electric miter saw
- Saves workspace with its innovative design
- Completely designed for all your needs
- Cuts angles and bevels with uncomplicated settings
- Expanded horizontal cutting capacity of 14”
- Fit in a compact workspace
- 15 AMP motor with 3800 RPM
- Upfront bevel locks for safety
- Extremely heavy at 65 lbs.
DEWALT 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS709)
The Dewalt single bevel compound miter saw offers a lot of versatility and cutting accuracy in such a compact package. The saw’s lighter weight makes it easy to use for a longer period, while the powerful motor allows you to easily slice through materials and execute several cuts. If you need to do endless bevel cuts to the left and right, this is a neat saw that can do that and about everything else from cutting tall crown moldings to cutting a big 2 x 14” piece of lumber. It has dual horizontal steel rails equipped with ball bearings to allow for accuracy.
The DeWalt dual bevel miter saw is powered by a 15 amp. 3800 RPM 120-volt motor producing enough energy for all day use and increase productivity. At 51 pounds it has a heavy-duty aluminum base with tall ribbing for strength and durability. The tall fencing and easy to read oversized scale make cutting crown molding an easy job with complete accurately.
With this product you will get a 3-year limited warranty, which you may want to check into as to what is covered and what is not covered. DeWalt is a company famous for great products but you are putting out a lot of money and you need to know what the warranty covers.
- Compact and lightweight for easy transport
- Make crosscuts as well as dual bevel cuts
- Easy to read oversized scales for setting bevel cuts
- Linear ball bearing system for easy sliding
- Comes with saw, carbide blade, wrench, dust bag, clamp, users’ guide
- 3-year limited warranty
- Customers complain about the dust collection system
- Wouldn’t recommend cutting metal with this blade
Hitachi C12RSH2 Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Saw Review
The Hitachi C12RSH2 dual bevel sliding compound miter saw is a beast. This powerhouse is easy to handle, cuts with precision and comes loaded with a ton of features that will make cutting crown molding a breeze. It’s also very versatile and can be a great choice if you’re in need of a larger miter saw, but you’re short on space. The cutting blade is at 12 inches so it can cut a 10” wide board with ease and due to the sliding feature, it would extend that number.
With this model you have a laser marker system that improves the accuracy of your cuts. You can adjust the laser to go on the right side, left side or the middle of the cutting line. It comes dialed in when you first set it up. You can do 90-degree crosscuts on boards of many widths and numerous angle bevel cuts that makes this miter saw so versatile it will become your best friend. To add control and comfort, there is a soft, vibration reducing elastomer grip.
This saw may weigh 59 pounds but for the work it does, you will still move it from site to site and not mind the weight. The Hitachi C12RSH2 is operated by a15 amp brushed motor run by 120 volts. Easy access if it becomes necessary to replace the brushes.
- Equipped with a 12” blade
- Powered by a 15-amp, 120-volt motor
- Ability to make dual bevel cuts
- Cut crown molding up to 7 ½” vertically
- Versatile laser light Guide
- 5-year warranty
- Fully versatile power tool
- Enough power to cut through a 6 x 6-inch board
- Adjustable laser light for accurate cutting
- Make bevel cuts left and right
- Comes with saw, blade, dust bag, vise ass’y, box wrench holder
- Cuts 90 degree cut on boards up to 12” and more wide
- Not too much wrong with this miter saw except for the price
- 5-year warranty is impressive
DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)
Who doesn’t know and trust DeWalt to make a good product? This miter saw offers you a 12inch blade cut and you can cut up to a 2x16 inch board at a 90-degree angle. If you want to cut a 45-degree angle, it will cut a board up to and including a 2x12 board. The sliding mechanism is the feature that allows for cutting a 16-inch-wide board. Its maximum cut thickness is 6.75 inches.
This is a perfect miter saw for the DIYers since it will take up less space in a home shop or garage. The motor used to power this miter saw is a 15-amp motor and operates at 3800 RPMs. This saw is powerful enough to handle any home project you will take on even crown moldings up to 7 ½” nested and base molding up to 6 ¾” on the vertical. Precision cutting will not be a problem with the DeWalt 12” DWS779.
You will be able to collect over 75% of all dust generated which make the atmosphere healthier and clean up much easier. Measurements are easy to read, and setting is smooth and accurate. If you have any problems with the manufacturing of the saw, DeWalt offers a three-year limited warranty.
- 12” cutting blade
- Sliding system for wider board cuts (16”)
- 3-year limited warranty
- Easily adjust for duel bevel cuts
- Compact size, 2 x 23 x 18.5
- Weighs in at 56 pounds
- Includes, miter saw, carbide blade, blade wrench, and user guide
- Sliding feature allows for cutting wide boards
- Make bevel cut to the right and to the left
- Able to cut crown molding
- Provides a dust collection system
- Easy to read numbers for correct settings
- Does not come with a laser light
- Not too easy to be moved around a lot
Metabo HPT C8FSE 8-1/2-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Hitachi powers tools has been renamed to Metabo HPT, so this miter saw is still the same great quality that Hitachi is famous for. It can be adjusted to 4 different degrees right and left with the ability to bevel cut 48 degrees left and do a bevel cut 5 degrees right. The blade makes an 8 ½ inch long cut but with the linear bar bearing slide system you will be able to cut much wider boards up to 12 inches. The sliding system on miter saws is a must for me, it gives you so much more versatility for cutting so many different sizes of boards.
Woodworkers who insist on precision along with mobility will love working with this miter saw. Included in the package is the saw blade dust bag, vice assembly, 10mm box wrench, and sub fence. It weighs around 31 pounds and is easy to move around the job site. For safety purposes, it has a quick stop brake that works when the trigger is released.
It is powered by a 9.5 Amp motor with a no-load speed of 5500 RPM and will handle your framing jobs like a pro. The measurements are easy to read, and the settings are quick to set.
- Cuts 4 different degrees to the left and right
- Weigh is only 31 pounds
- Has a bar bearing sliding system
- Quick Stop brake
- 48 degree left and 5-degree right bevel cuts
- Vibration reducing handle grip
- Cuts up to 12-inch-wide boards
- Cuts bevels as well as angles
- Dust bag keeps the work area safer
- Easy to read measurements and settings
- Great speed in the motor for quick cutting
- Has a 5-year warranty
- Does not have a laser light but then most woodworkers don’t rely on them
- This miter saw works best for smaller woodworking and framing jobs
- Bevel cuts 48 degrees left but only 5 degrees right
Milwaukee compound miter saw 2734-20 M18 Fuel, 10"
This Milwaukee compound miter saw has a 10” cutting blade, with a sliding mechanism that will allow you to cut boards with a vertical capacity of 5 ¾”, 90 degree cross cut capacity of 2 x 12, 45 miter cross cut capacity 2 x 8”. The bevel capabilities are 45 bevel cut, 2 x 12, maximum bevel capacity 45 / 48. This is a good saw for the professionals that do wood siding, trim and balconies commercially.
This miter saw the power and durability to replace a corded saw and is much easier to take from job site to home and back again. It can deliver up to 400 cuts on one battery charge which would equate to using it all day. The brushless motor is a plus as this type of motor is extremely low on maintenance. You will enjoy how easy it is to see the numbers for the settings for bevel or angle cuttings
This saw is made of steel and plastic and weighs about 45 pounds. The overall dimensions are 19.2 x 31.9 x 20 inches and would suit your home use as well as using it on the job.
- Adjustable stainless-steel detent plate
- Easy access to bevel adjustment
- 18V battery, 4000 RPM brushless motor
- Replace your corded miter saw
- Powerstate brushless motor
- Dual Bevel feature
- Comes with a carbide blade and blade wrench plus dust bag
- Can cut a 2 x 12 horizontally
- Shadow cutline indicator for quick line up
- Can do 400 cuts per charge
- Dual bevel with 9 detents
- Easy access to blade for changing
- You will have to purchase the battery separately
- Dust pickup is not on the blade housing
Ryobi P3650B Cordless Brushless dual Bevel Sliding
The Ryobi company is creating a new line of power tools that require 2, 18-volt batteries of extreme power and they have started with this model of miter saws. The Ryobi P3650B is a 10-inch miter saw that is ideal for professional woodworkers and will give them a full day’s work on just one charge of the two batteries. The batteries do not come with this offer but if you already have Ryobi tools with 18-volt ONE+ batteries you can use them with this product. Think about having 36 volts of power and how much work you can get done with this power tool.
The Ryobi P3650B weighs in at a mere 34-lbs, as compared to other miter saws it is 20 lbs. light so you can move it from jobsite to jobsite, or jobsite to home easily. Its dimensions are 20x17x32 inches, compact but well balanced.
This product is equipped with the ability to produce dual bevel cuts and has a sliding system that allow you to cut boards that are 12” wide. The motor is brushless in nature and this type of motor is notorious for not requiring a lot of maintenance, and has more runtime, more speed, more torque and more durability than the old brushed motors.
- Uses 2 18-volt ONE+ batteries
- Over 800 cuts per charge
- Brushless motor for longer run times
- Dual Bevel design for accurate cuts
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Dust collecting system
- Ability to do bevel cuts right and left
- Sliding system allow for cutting board 12” wide
- Battery operated so no cord to worry about
- Lightweight, easy to move on the job site
- Longer runtime on the job
- Comes with a 10” carbide blade, work clamp, blade wrench and owner’s manual
- Batteries are sold separately as is the charger
- Batteries do work on all Ryobi ONE+ tools
Makita LS1019L 10" Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw With Laser
This model of Makita miter saw is a corded product that is powered by a 15-amp direct drive motor that results in smoother and consistent power with 3200 RPM. Your cutting abilities with saw are endless, from cutting vertical crown molding at 6 5/8” and crown molding vertical baseboard at 5 ¼ “. Most of us are always looking for a miter saw that can cut 4x4s and this miter saw can do just that! You will also make 12” 90-degree crosscuts with ease due to the sliding system.
When it comes to doing bevel cuts you can do 0-48 degrees left and right and miter cuts from 0-60 left and right. Some miter saws may claim to be dual bevel, but they don’t cut the same degree both left and right. This is a heavy miter saw so don’t plan on moving it many times a day on the work site. It weighs 57.9 pounds and the dimensions are 22.1 x 32.7 x 21.6 inches.
Two other great options are 1. The laser light that you turn off and on and be either on the right or left side of the cut, 2. The dust collection system which makes for a healthier work area. The measurements are easy to read so setting the saw for bevel cuts are easy to set.
- 10 Inch cutting blade
- Sliding system for cutting wider boards
- Dual bevel cuts right and left bevels
- Dust collection system
- 15 AMP direct drive motor
- Electric brake for convenience
- Comes with saw, dust bag, triangle rule, 10” micro blade, hex wrench
- Do accurate crosscuts as well as bevel cuts
- Corded electric, 120 volts
- Able to cut 4x4 boards
- See through blade guard
- Slide guide operation reduces saw imprint
- A bit on the heavy side if you plan on moving it around a lot
- Impressive saw for the price
Miter Saw Buying Guide And Factors To Consider
Types Of Miter Saws
So, let's look what features it takes to buy the best miter saw that will get the job done for your next project.
Basic Miter: The basic miter can be adjusted to make angled cuts. This style of miter is perfect for jobs that require simple ninety-degree cuts. Some models feature stops on the miter index. These stops are listings of angles found on the saw’s base and they can be used to speed up the cutting process because this feature allows you to adjust the saw to the most common cutting angles used. The amount of cuts on a miter index will vary from model to model.
Compound Miter: This type of miter saw can adjust for bevel or angled cuts. Generally, these saws can only make a bevel cut in one direction: right or left. However, there are some models available that allow the saw to pivot in both directions, which provides much-needed flexibility.
Sliding Compound: This type of miter saw is by far the most versatile one you’ll find. The blade and motor assembly are placed on a movable arm that allows you to slice through longer pieces of lumber with ease. Some types of sliding compound miter saws feature blades that are only able to pivot in a single direction, just like the basic miter, but higher end models allow the blade to be tilted to the left or the right.
Cordless: Cordless models will offer plenty of convenience when you’re on the job site because they’re highly portable, so you won’t need to stick close to a power outlet or use an extension cord. Cordless miter saws typically run on eighteen or twenty-four volts. A big drawback to this type of miter is the downtime you’ll run into for recharging which can make your work day even longer. In order to maximize the run time, search for a cordless miter that features a rapid recharging system or replaceable batteries. If you have a stationary work area, then we recommend a corded model, which can offer more power and consistency.
Power Matters In Your Miter Saw
The most advanced models of miters will not only be able to make fancy compound cuts, but their blade and motor housing will expand to increase cut length. A miter with this type of capability is favored by the pros.
Miters often come in a couple of popular sizes: ten and twelve inches. Models with twelve-inch blades are mainly used by the pros who handle plenty of large lumber routinely. But many pros also opt for the ten-inch models, which can handle about ninety-five percent of the tasks that the twelve inch can, and they’re also a more affordable option.
Mitre Saw Features to Look For
A good miter saw will come with bevel and miter scales that are aligned properly and easy to read. This helps to improve cutting accuracy. The most precise scales will be marked in fractions of a degree.
Detents, or solid angle presets, are locking catches that mark commonly used miter and bevel angles, allowing you to set the saw for the type of cuts you use the most. We recommend choosing a saw that comes with a minimum of five detents, in addition to a detent override that will allow you to choose custom angles.
The miter you choose should also come with an adjustable fence, which will provide more support when you’re slicing through larger stock. The best fences will stand at four inches and will be perpendicular to the table. Fences with sections that swing or slide out of the way are a must when making bevel cuts.
For sliding compound saws, the rails should be able to easily glide as the saw is pushed through lumber. Typically, the sliding motion will be rougher at first but will loosen up the more the saw is used.
Blade guards work to protect the user from the blade. The user should be able to move the guard out of the way in order to get a better view.
These days, many miter saws come equipped with a laser guide that’s designed to help the user to visualize the path of the blade before a cut is made. But many people feel that these laser guides are not very accurate, especially in bright sunlight when it’s almost impossible to see them.
If you’re searching for a saw with a good dust collection system, you won’t have much luck in this area. Many pros can agree that these dust collection systems are pretty useless and downright ineffective.
Built-in safety switches located on the handle are meant to prevent the saw from accidentally starting up. It’s a great feature to have and a must for beginners.
When you execute a cut at a ninety-degree angle it’s referred to as a crosscut. Normally, this type of cut is done whenever you need to cut something down to the correct length.
Every type of miter saw can execute a basic miter cut. This type of cut is often used for trims and frames.
You won’t be able to do bevel cuts with a basic miter saw. With a bevel cut, the saw blade needs to be rotated along its horizontal axis. This type of cut refers to the tilt of the blade from the vertical on the saw table. With a basic miter, the blade is aligned perpendicular to the ground or table. With a compound miter, you’ll be able to pivot the blade assembly to make bevel cuts. This type of cut is useful for creating bevel joints, crown molding, wooden shelves, and photo frames.
A compound cut allows you to execute a bevel and miter cut in a single cut. If you set the miter and bevel angle to zero then you’ll basically end up with a crosscut. With a compound cut, you’ll be cutting at angles to both thickness and width at the same time. This type of cut is often used for certain types of cabinet attachments, door frames or crown molding. This cut is incredibly difficult to perform using a basic miter.
Now that you’re familiar with the types of cuts you can make with a miter saw you’ll have a better idea of the type of saw you need for upcoming projects.
Miter Saw Buying Tips To Consider
Before you buy a miter saw also consider purchasing a saw stand that you can use when cutting longer lumber. Stands make it a lot easier to quickly slice through lumber and can help to improve cutting accuracy. Many pros believe that a stand is probably one of the best accessories you can buy.
For many years, out in the field construction workers found themselves having to put together their own benches for this purpose, in order to have a platform that was stable enough to help manage longer lumber.
Today, you can purchase a folding miter stand that’s designed to work with pretty much any type of miter. These stands are stable, heavy-duty and feature telescoping supports at each end that will allow the user to cut long large pieces of lumber easily.
Blade size is another important point to consider. The size of the blades usually ranges from eight to twelve inches. A bigger blade will allow you to make longer cuts. The blade is what determines the height or depth of a cut.
There are a variety of blades you can use when you’re cutting different types of materials. Some blades are even designed for multi-purpose use and can handle a wider variety of materials. Blades with more teeth will provide a finer cut.
Often, new saws will come with a mid-range blade that’s designed for wood cutting only, so an upgrade may be necessary if you have plenty of work around the home to get done.
An electric brake is another must have safety feature. The brake works to slow the blade down quickly. When the saw’s arm is lifted after a cut is made, a blade that doesn't have a brake will take quite a bit longer to lose its momentum.
This can potentially lead to injury or mistakes in your work. A brake will reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and will basically make the saw much easier and safer to use.
Handle comfort isn’t really at the top of the list when it comes to the features you should look for when buying a new miter, but the wrong type of handle can have a big impact on how comfortable or uncomfortable a saw is to use.
This is especially true if you’re a pro and have to use the saw for several hours at a stretch. The handle designs vary greatly by manufacturer and model. The best type of handle should be able to absorb a large amount of vibration and should be easy to hold.
The saw’s motor will vary from ten to fifteen amps. A powerful motor isn’t always a must because these saws are usually efficient by default. A larger miter will usually have a more powerful motor compared to a smaller, compact saw, so try not to be fooled by the numbers on a spec sheet. However, if you need a miter for your job, you should opt for the highest level of power available.
There are many different makes and models of miter saws to choose from, so it’s important that you do a little research to find the right style that will best suit your needs. Try not to let popularity or pricing be the main determining factors when it comes time to choose a model that can fit your cutting needs. The best miter saw will be powerful, durable, and versatile enough that it will be an asset on the job site or around the home.